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Author Topic: Pismo G4 upgrade review
Snaggy

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Icon 14 posted April 29, 2004 12:10      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I recently had my Pismo upgraded to a G4, and also had the screen replaced, by the folks at Daystar. I am really happy with how it turned out. [Smile]

Check out my review here!

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philomath777
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Icon 1 posted May 01, 2004 12:36      Profile for philomath777     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have a 400 Mhz Pismo that I've thought about upgrading. However, there doesn't seem to be any consensus of opinion whether the 550Mhz G4 or the 1Ghz G3 upgrade is preferable. I have seen arguments and stats both ways. What do others think?
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Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted May 01, 2004 15:25      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmmm, have you tried looking at the XBench comparasions? they seem to be really close, if not identical. (for the 900MHz anyway)

Pismo results

Mine are posted here...

1 gig G3 Pismo for $400, or a 550 G4 for 339.00?

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philomath777
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Icon 1 posted May 05, 2004 11:00      Profile for philomath777     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's a review of the 1 Ghz G3 PowerLogix upgrade by Charles Moore, who recently upgraded to Daystar's 550 G4. I see on Powerlogix's website they are redoing the speed test results so it will be interesting to see since Moore thought they were being selective. <http://www.macopinion.com/columns/roadwarrior/04/04/13/index.html> One good thing with the G3 upgrade is longer battery life if that is important to a user. They claim less heat also, claiming that 550 G4s are overclocked 500 G4s. So the debate goes on....
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Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted May 05, 2004 12:21      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
yeah it's an interesting choice to make...

here some more info on the chip they use from Daystar's info page...

Motorola doesn't list a 550 G4 7400. How do you ship it?
We don't ship the 7400. The 7400 (sold by generic vendors) is actually obsolete. Production was discontinued over a year ago. We use the new low-power, 5th generation - 7410 "Nitro" CPU at its highest factory rated speed. This CPU component is much more capable than the older 'high-temp' 7400 CPUs. Our engineers adjust the power of this CPU to meet the specification for the 550 MHz as set by Motorola .

The 7410LE is the an improvement of the mask used on the 550-600 higher-power, 4th generation of the 7410 CPUversion of the 7410 CPU.
We spec the CPU to the 550 MHz core power and multiplier as recommended in the Motorola PowerPC (PE) settings for 550 MHz.
To ensure that the CPUs are not running at the "edge" of their performance potential, we test every batch at 600 MHz. We ship at a max of 550 MHz.


Can I over-clock it to 600 MHz?
In theory yes, In reality, no. The 7410 at 600 MHz is much too hot for the limited thermal capacity of the PowerBook.

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Mark Shapiro
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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2004 20:46      Profile for Mark Shapiro   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Any more opinions out there? I'm on the fence as to whether to get the G4-550 Mhz upgrade or the G3-900 upgrade. I plan on staying on OS9.22 until they put a Chooser back in OSX, - maybe for years! I think the G4-550 will run cooler than the G3-900, and be almost as fast on OS9.22 and slighty better for OSX - and Snaggy, is the new screen from Daystar really brighter than a good stock apple screen?
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Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted June 04, 2004 20:55      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The new screen is way brighter than my old Pismo one... I don't have a new powerBook so it's hard to judge, but yeah, I think it's at least as bright as the new ones I've seen in stores. Daystar said they are rated a bit brighter than stock Apple
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Mark Shapiro
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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2004 21:07      Profile for Mark Shapiro   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The new screen is way brighter than my old Pismo one...
Thanks Snaggy, any regrets of choosing the G4-550 over the G3-900 upgrade?
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Snaggy

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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2004 23:20      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
hmmm, can't say so, but of course no matter which you choose you'll always wonder was the other better. [Wink]

Seems like the upgrades are pretty evenly matched. If you're staying in 9, is there any advantage for the G3 in OS 9?

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Tut-an-Geek

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Icon 1 posted June 05, 2004 04:09      Profile for Tut-an-Geek   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Remember what the G4 is best at. It has a gazillion FPU's. So are you going to be doing something that requires a lot of numerical calculations?
Ex. you'll probably get faster speeds on the G4:
Ripping [a lot of] MP3
Encoding video
Photoshop filter applications
etc.

The choice is yours, and yours alone [Wink]

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Mark Shapiro
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Icon 1 posted June 05, 2004 12:03      Profile for Mark Shapiro   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Snaggy:
hmmm, can't say so, but of course no matter which you choose you'll always wonder was the other better. [Wink]

Seems like the upgrades are pretty evenly matched. If you're staying in 9, is there any advantage for the G3 in OS 9?

Thanks Snaggy and others! I'm going to take a Pismo 500 mhz with 1 gig of ram, put a 60 gig HD in it, get the Daystar G4-550 upgrade and get one of their brighter screens, partition my HD into 2 30-gig partitions, and have OSX on one, wonderful OS9.22 on the other, and have one Smokin laptop. Cheers!
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Mark Shapiro
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Icon 1 posted June 09, 2004 17:34      Profile for Mark Shapiro   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey fellow geeks, here is a question, I'm going to buy a new hard drive for my Pismo either from macsales.com or from Daystar directly. I'm wondering which is faster, a 5400 rpm drive with a 16-meg cache, or a 7200 with a 2, 4, or 8-meg cache. Daystar says 7200s are noisy, and the 16-meg cache on the 5400 RPM ones make them faster, what do geeks say?
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Snaggy

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Icon 7 posted June 09, 2004 19:54      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have a Toshiba MK4018GA, 40 gig 4200 rpm in mine and it's immensely quieter than the original drive. i didn't realize how noisy mine was until I replaced it, I am much happier with a quieter laptop.

My guess is the 16-meg cache/ 5400 RPM one would be quieter, and perhaps a bit faster? I doubt you'd notice any difference in speed though between those two choices.

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Allan
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Icon 1 posted June 09, 2004 23:16      Profile for Allan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have a work colleague who did a replacement on his 15" powerbook 867 with a 5400 and said that it was quiter and faster than the original, which I think was a 4200 40.

So I'd agree with Snaggy, go for the 5400.

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MacGenius
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 08:03      Profile for MacGenius   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Cool, Snag...I recently sold my PowerBook (it was the 300MHz model) because it didn't have a lot of the features I needed (dual monitors, et al)...

The G4 was a good choice, that G3 gig'd prolly run faster in Finder operations but lag in graphics/video work.

quote:
Originally posted by Snaggy:
I have a Toshiba MK4018GA, 40 gig 4200 rpm in mine and it's immensely quieter than the original drive. i didn't realize how noisy mine was until I replaced it, I am much happier with a quieter laptop.

My guess is the 16-meg cache/ 5400 RPM one would be quieter, and perhaps a bit faster? I doubt you'd notice any difference in speed though between those two choices.

When I first bought said PB, it had an 8GB HD, it was slow like sh*t...I put an IBM Travvy in it, the 5400rpm/8 meg cache model, 40 GB, and it was a LOT quieter and a LOT faster. My advice...go for it.
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Mark Shapiro
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Icon 1 posted June 13, 2004 11:22      Profile for Mark Shapiro   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I wonder why the upgrade price from DayStar is a bit more than from the other (MacGuru?) place on their order form? And, I think I'm going to get the 7200 HD with the 8 meg cache rather than the 5400 HD with the 16 meg cache..
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MacGenius
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Icon 1 posted June 19, 2004 05:12      Profile for MacGenius   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
IMHO That will reduce battery life. I really don't know tho which one really is faster. I'm leaning towards te 7200.
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AHunter3
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Icon 1 posted June 23, 2004 21:14      Profile for AHunter3   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sounds like a nice upgrade.

I've got a WallStreet with a Sonnet G4/500, a 7200 RPM 60GB Hitachi TravelStar, and a VTBook cardbus card to give me a second monitor. I have a hard time realizing this baby is a 6 year old computer!

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Mark Shapiro
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Icon 1 posted June 28, 2004 18:58      Profile for Mark Shapiro   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mark Shapiro:
I wonder why the upgrade price from DayStar is a bit more than from the other (MacGuru?) place on their order form?

I answered that myself - I'm in Calif - and the MacGuru place must charge me sales tax, but DayStar direct does not - so it's cheaper for me to order - which I did - my client's Pismo - 550 G4 and the new brighter LCD screen, ordered today, will let everyone know just how cool it is when it's done!
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Mark Shapiro
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Icon 1 posted July 14, 2004 17:47      Profile for Mark Shapiro   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Update - Daystar called me and asked if I was sure I wanted to replace my LCD screen - I told them I read their screens were brighter - they said the whites were whiter but the screens were not really brighter than the Pismo screens. I asked if I would notice a difference, they said a small difference, so I said go for it. So far smooth, they communicate by email and phone. Should get it back fairly soon.
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Mark Shapiro
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Icon 6 posted July 21, 2004 16:12      Profile for Mark Shapiro   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Update! Got it back yesterday. Best money ever spent. LCD was a tad brighter. No free rubber feet replacement. No free mouse included. Just a 550 Mhx G4, a more reliable machine, runs much cooler and faster in OS9.22. Great company, great product. When budget permits, will do this to several more Pismos!
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Snaggy

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Icon 14 posted July 21, 2004 16:45      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
hey great, glad you like the upgrade!

[thumbsup]

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Mark Shapiro
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Icon 1 posted August 13, 2004 17:53      Profile for Mark Shapiro   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Also, I've found Daystar a great place to get your laptops repaired. Here in San Jose, CA - the local repair shops take weeks to fix your laptop, and charge a lot for parts and labor. Daystartechologies charges just $75 labor, and add $30 or so for shipping both ways - the supply your box, you get it back faster and save money compared to my local repair places, I have an ibook in for repair right now!
]

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MacGenius
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Icon 2 posted August 18, 2004 12:11      Profile for MacGenius   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I did the math...selling a Pismo plus the G4 upgrade money buys a PowerBook G4/867. These damned upgrade companies...they're ripping us off
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Mark Shapiro
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Icon 1 posted September 01, 2004 20:00      Profile for Mark Shapiro   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I did the math...selling a Pismo plus the G4 upgrade money buys a PowerBook G4/867. These damned upgrade companies...they're ripping us off

- but the Pismo holds 2 batteries at once, has better airport reception, 2 firewire ports, and has a better quality keyboard....

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